Academic Honesty, Plagiarism and Ethical Behavior

Academic Honesty, Plagiarism and Ethical Behavior Academic honesty and ethical behavior, expected of every student, are essential to the process of education and to upholding high ethical standards. Cheating, including plagiarism, inappropriate use of technology, or any other kind of unethical or dishonest behavior (including such things that may occur in internships), may subject the student to severe academic penalties, including dismissal. All work submitted for evaluation in a course, including tests, term papers, and computer programs, must represent only the work of the student unless indicated otherwise. All work submitted for evaluation in a course or for fulfilling requirements for program completion must represent only the work of the student unless indicated otherwise. This includes homework, tests, term papers, computer program, essays, theses and creative projects. Material taken from the work of others must be acknowledged. Materials submitted to fulfill requirements in one course may not be submitted in another course without prior approval of all of the instructors involved. Research material and data must be handled in accordance with standards set by the departments. Concerns about the propriety of obtaining outside assistance and acknowledging sources should be addressed to the instructor of the course, or-in the case of theses, essays, and projects-to the advisor, before the work commences and as necessary as the work proceeds. Instructors should indicate specific penalties for academic dishonesty in their course syllabi. Penalties appropriate to the severity of the infraction may include zero for the assignment or failure in the course. In cases of academic dishonesty where the student chooses to withdraw from a course rather than receive a course grade of F, the grade of WF instead of W may be assigned at the faculty member’s discretion. In egregious cases and/or cases of repeat dishonesty, additional penalties may be determined by the dean, such as suspension or dismissal from the University. The penalty for academic dishonesty, plagiarism, and unethical behavior as it relates to the writing of the final thesis, essay, or creative project may be dismissal from the program. Any appeal by a student is to be made first to the instructor. If disputes of interpretation arise, the faculty member and chairperson or program coordinator will attempt to resolve the difficulty with the student. If this does not lead to a resolution, the appropriate academic associate dean normally will rule in the matter. A written report of the incident by the instructor or department chair will be sent to the appropriate dean, who will keep a written record of the complaint when it is filed. The dean will place a copy of this record in the student’s file and provide the student with a copy. A written record of the complaint is kept for cases of repeat violations. The dean will review the case and determine if, in light of other information and records, further disciplinary action is warranted. The student has the right to appeal the accusation of academic dishonesty and/or the consequence if the student believes it to be in error. The Policy and Procedure for Appeal of a Charge of Academic Dishonesty (steps 1-5 below) will be followed if a student wishes to contest a finding of academic dishonesty. Policy and Procedure for Appeal of a Charge of Academic Dishonesty Policy: The faculty has both the professional competence and the jurisdiction to determine instances of academic dishonesty; the student has the right to appeal the charge when the student believes it to be in error. The basis for an appeal is a) to appeal the charge itself, or b) whether the consequence has been determined fairly. Every student has the right to know at the beginning of any semester how academic dishonesty will be handled. For this reason the instructor has the obligation to present this information to the student at the beginning of the semester as part of the syllabus. Once the semester begins, an instructor should not make substantial changes to the system and should inform the students of even minor changes. If an instructor does not provide such information, the student has the right to seek redress. Procedure: Step 1. The student who wishes to contest a charge of academic dishonesty should first make an effort to discuss the matter with the instructor and attempt to resolve the problem concerning the disputed charge. (If the instructor is away from the University during the period of the appeal, the student may proceed directly to the department chairperson.) Step 2. If there is no satisfactory resolution at this level and the student wishes to pursue the matter further, the student must initiate a formal appeal by the end of the sixth week after the student is notified of the charge. The appeal must be made in writing to the instructor and a copy sent to the department chairperson or program coordinator, who will then schedule a meeting with the student and the instructor. Step 3. If the department chairperson cannot resolve the dispute in a manner satisfactory to the parties concerned, the chairperson will notify the associate dean of the school in which the course is taught. The appropriate dean will then attempt to resolve the problem. Step 4. a. If the associate dean judges that the appeal is without sufficient basis, the appropriate dean can so rule, and the case is closed. b. If the appropriate dean is in doubt or thinks it possible that the academic decision should be changed contrary to the wishes of the instructor, the appeal moves to a committee comprised of three faculty members from the University. To form the appeals committee, the appropriate dean will request the Faculty Council to provide a list of the names of nine, randomly selected, faculty members. From this list, the appropriate dean, the involved instructor, and the student each will choose three to consider the matter. Faculty unanimously selected will sit on the appeals committee; if agreement on the three cannot be reached, the associate dean will fill any remaining spots on the committee from the names on the list. c. Both the instructor and the student will present their cases to the committee. (The appeals committee will make no effort to establish whether an instructor’s academic honesty policy is academically sound; rather it will attempt to establish whether an instructor’s practices and procedures were followed consistently, fairly, and accurately according to the standards set forth in the syllabus and other course directives.) d. The committee will then decide by majority vote to recommend whether the academic decision be changed and will provide the associate dean with a written explanation of its recommendation. The associate dean will make the final decision after carefully considering the recommendation of the committee. If the final decision is contrary to the recommendation of the committee, the associate dean should explain the reasons for the decision in writing to the committee. Step 5. The associate dean will then notify the instructor, the department chairperson, and the student of the decision, ordinarily by the end of the semester during which the appeal arose.